Sunday, September 16, 2012

Dragon Boats

 Yesterday was a hoot!

I took Kelly up towards the City, and beyond, pulling off of the Bay Bridge at Yerba Buena, and then down onto Treasure Island, for that was where the SF Dragon Boat Festival was happening.

On the flyer, and in the android app that I downloaded about the event, they avowed that there was ample FREE parking for the event, but by the time we got there, the ushers were flagging us lemmings into a giant parking lot, and then basically locked us in there.  That wasn't fun.  But I was soon able to extract the Mom Van and just drove to the far end of the island, and got one of the last remaining street parking spaces.  It wasn't that big of a walk, and we were soon at the festival.

We walked past the giant dancing wire chick.  Don't know what she's called, but she sure was cool.  And from my photographer friends, I know that she's incredible when she's lit up at night.  And you don't get the sense of scale here, but I'm about as tall as her foot.

As we were walking across the island, we stopped a few times.
Watch for passing bicycles.

And check out the view.

Here we are!
But first, a bit of fortification.
Kelly chose lemon.

Organic blueberry and chocolate cupcake from the Kara's Cupcake van.

Look to the left.  The starting line.

Look straight ahead.  Scenery!

Look left.  The finish line!

No shortage of entertainment.

But before we knew it, we'd been there three hours, had Cupcakes, great teriaki chicken skewers, fried rice, chow mein, bubble tea, and a roaring loud sunburn.
It was time to head back to the van, and head for home.

Goodbye, Treasure Island.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Photos and "noob" english

 While I am not taking "one photo per day", I do hope that by the end of the year, I'll have a collection of  366 photos that cover some (or maybe even most) of the high points of the year.

Here's a few more
155/366 Kelly and a friend went beach riding at the beginning of the summer.  I put this photo on the front of a photo album that I made for her friend.

157/366 On the first day of summer vacation, Toni and I took the girls out to the coast....

158/366 ...and this is the shot that I used on the photo album that I made for Carrie.

159/366 The constant wind makes flying a kite at the beach a real breeze (pardon the pun)

162/366 Squirty water park.  Kelly insists she's not going to get wet.

166/366 Skip leaves for summer camp.

168/366 Took Kelly and Nate camping on the beach during their first week of horse camp.

169/366 Kelly and her friends on the beach at sunset.  I always make them jump.  Heh.

Skip's on Day 2 of his senior year.  He's pretty much enjoying it.  Last night's "homework" was going over all the syllabi from all the courses, and having 'a parent or guardian discuss and sign" them.  Well, I couldn't let it go when his ENGLISH syllabus had, as part of the 'homework expectations' section...

"You should expect to have some homework two to three times.  Along with that, there are four novels to be read during the course of the year."

Hello?  Two to three TIMES?  You know I couldn't let that go.  Two to three times per what?  A week?  A day?  Each semester?  PER YEAR?

So I 'annotated' the syllabus.  Skip was alternately laughing and acting mortified.  I think the laughter eventually won out.  But, as he said "That's to be expected when you take "NOOB English"."

Yes, the child has ALL AP courses except for English.  Some day, he will want to write, and to become better at communicating, but that day is not now.  It's something he can pick up in College, and i have little doubt that a university communications class will be better at presenting what he needs, all things considered.

Ah... and at half-way to lunch time, Kelly and Nate start to stir.  Glad I got most of my work done for the day before 8am.  Today's the 'getting everything set up for school' day for them.  We're going through closets and drawers, and culling stuff that doesn't work for them.

And if I get adventurous, I might even take a back-hoe to the garage.  Ken's in negotiations for a replacement for The Purple Princess, which has served him well since 2001.  And it might be nice to be able to put the new steed in the garage until the new car smell has worn off.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Because Disneyland came and went

 So did I mention that I chaperoned a band-and-chorus trip to Disneyland in April?
Maybe it was exhaustion from that that has kept me from writing with any regularity since then...
Yeah, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.
So, the rule in our house (because I am a lazy bum, and cheap, and Ken REALLY doesn't like crowds) is that you ONLY get to go to Disneyland if you do music in school, and THEN, you only go to Disneyland on the Middle School Band Trip, which happens every other year.

Four years ago, I took Skip.

And from the day that he returned from that trip, Kelly has been counting the days until she would have her turn.
She was so excited that she painted her nails in anticipation of the trip.

Things got kind of dicey in the months leading up to the trip, when a bunch of girls told each other stuff 'in confidence' and then forwarded the email-train to all their friends, which then got in the hands of friends' mothers, which then got into my hands, when the moms realized the girls were talking smack about Kelly.

Um yeah.  So not cool.

But they worked through it, and by the time we left town, all was forgiven (though not forgotten.  Momma's got a memory like an elephant)


We stopped at an armpit of a rest-area along the 5, and one of *my* girls (each chaperone was responsible for 8 students) dropped her iPhone in the toilet of the restaurant we were eating at.


Of course, there was no dry rice to be found at any of the corner stores, and it was only after we were back on the freeway that I realized that the Mexican restaurant might have sold us dry rice, because they probably cook 100 pounds of it a day.


Fun times, but exhausting.  I hope I'm not too old in 4 years when it's Nate's turn to go to Disney.
Rides were fun!

The souvenir of choice for all the kids seemed to be Perry.

Kelly was pretty excited to play at Disney

I loved these little guys:

Mediaeval Times was a hoot!  Even if our yellow knight didn't win.

Eek.  First day of school today.  Forgot that I have to get Skip.

And on that note.  A moment of silence.
Today was his LAST "first day of school"

The days, they just fly past.

Friday, August 03, 2012

While he was gone. Part 2.

 Just to be clear... Ken *had* to go to Australia.  Secret can't-talk-about-it sort of stuff that keeps your online experience seamless.
Anyways.  he wasn't just tossing shrimps on the barbie and finding other words that were Australian for 'beer'. or anything.
And I like to think that we weren't lounging around here, either.
Nate had his Science Fair presentation.  The "Toaster Poster".

I was proud of him because you could tell that he did the whole thing himself.  Well, with a bit of help from Skip.
He also had his first flute concert.  I had a nasty seat, and not a really good angle on things.  But I was there.  And I tried to bring Ken in on a Google+ Hangout, but the Australian connectivity just stinks.  We tried the hangout (on our phones) to get Ken to see Skip's math awards, but he didn't see much between disconnects.

And!  And then!  His class performed "Gold Dust Or Bust", a musical about the Gold rush in California.  It was extremely cute.  I sat through BOTH performances.  And I pulled Kelly from class, so she could come in and be the make-up artist.

Such a cute show.  I still laugh, thinking about some of the numbers.
And Kelly's "Betsy Ross" dress from her 3rd grade biography project got another use.  Always good to see re-use of my efforts.

Oh, and I participated in a photo scavenger hunt on Google+.  One of the topics was "Horror", so I set up this in my little Hamster Studio.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

While he was gone. Part 1.

 So Ken went to Australia for three weeks with work.
They were three pretty busy weeks on the home front.
While he was gone...
Skip got a medal...

And an award...

And another one...

Um... and another...

And a second medal...

And a trophy...

(yeah, like you didn't already know his name wasn't Skip...)
On the way out to the car after the ceremony, he turned to me, while juggling the trophy, medal, and various award papers and pins.
"The sound that this medal makes when it clinks against the trophy is hurting my ears:

Yeah, first world problems, dude.  First world problems.

Mr. Nate's wild ride

 Another milestone.
Back in May, Nate decided that horses weren't scary after all, and agreed to go riding with Kelly.
He had a great time.

Kelly was very encouraging.  She wants to make sure that she has lots of possible riding companions.

It was a typical foggy coastal summer morning.  Good for riding.

And good for riding on the beach.


I think he'll be wanting to ride again.  It seems like it was a very empowering morning for him.

And when it was over, he asked if he could go to Horse Camp this summer.

My boy, he's growing up.  We can cross 'fear of horses' off of his list of foibles, that's for sure.